Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Mashup (4/29/11)

  • A lot of times, I link to a story or a post and try to refute it with another link or commentary, or both (for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t grasped that by now). However, I’m not going to do that for this story, which tells us the following…
    EDINBORO — Some Pennsylvania universities should consider drilling for natural gas below campus to help solve their financial problems, Gov. Tom Corbett said today.

    The Erie Times-News reported that Corbett made the suggestion during an appearance at a meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees at Edinboro University.

    Corbett said six of the 14 campuses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are located on the Marcellus Shale formation, part of a vast region of underground natural gas deposits that are currently being explored and extracted.

    The Republican governor’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts in July would cut $2 billion from education and reduce aid to colleges and universities by 50 percent. The newspaper said Corbett emphasized the cuts are only proposals and that funding for education could change as he negotiates the budget with state lawmakers.
    I’m not going to provide another link because I think the pig-headed ignorance of PA governor “Space Cadet” Tom’s remarks are damning enough on their own (What’s next, I wonder? A return to workhouses where the college students pressed into drilling will be served cold gruel at least twice a shift? Somewhere, I’m sure Charles Dickens is saying to himself, “They’ll never learn, will they?”).

  • Further (and keeping with the theme of energy, I came across this mess from someone named Steven Hayward at Power Line (so much stoo-pid here, but I’ll focus on a couple of items in particular).

    Hayward’s argument, such as it is, is that The Sainted Ronnie R released the price controls on the oil industry in the ‘80s, and oil prices fell. However, what he fails to point out (as noted here) is that the price controls were already being removed in phases, a process that had begun under Reagan’s predecessor Jimmy Carter (and the price controls had been instituted to begin with under another Republican president, Richard Nixon). And prices fell in large part because demand had been reduced due to Carter’s energy policies.

    Hayward also decries “infinite liberal stupidity” on this issue, ending his screed with “Keep this in mind the next time a liberal says more oil production in the U.S. won't do any good.”

    Well, I don’t know if the CNN Money writer here is a “stupid liberal” or not, but I’ll believe him over Hayward any day of the week (and here is something else to keep in mind about Number 44 and energy).

  • Next, it seems that The Orange One and his pals are continuing to play chicken with our economy (here)…
    House Republicans are considering a plan to grant only incremental increases to the federal debt limit in a bid to extract more concessions on spending cuts and budgetary reform from the Obama administration.

    The idea has a champion in Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform, who says he is “building allies” in the House Republican Conference to push for extending the debt limit every two months.

    “My argument is, you give them two months at a time, because each time you could get something reasonable,” Norquist told The Hill in an interview this week at his downtown offices.
    And just remember that our elite corporate media will forever consider Mr. “Drown Government In A Bathtub” to be “serious.”

    I already got into this here (second bullet), so I won’t repeat myself. However, I would say only this to Obama and the Senate Dems: give Boehner and his pals nothing – tell them to stop screwing around and raise the damn debt ceiling already!

    And by the way, Mr. Speaker (and Mikey The Beloved), where are the bleeping jobs??!!

  • Update 5/16/11: Even from the grave, he still bites his party in the ass (here).

  • And tied to that a bit, it seems that actress Patricia Arquette lobbied Repug lawmakers in favor of more funding for the arts (here)…
    “I had an amazing meeting today with the RAMS,” Arquette said, referring to the Republicans Associated for Mutual Support (RAMS), a group of current and former GOP chiefs of staff. “Obviously, [Republicans] aren’t considered the party that typically supports public arts funding, but we talked about the economic impact of creative work and intellectual property, and we were all reasonable adults, so there was a lot of mutual understanding in the room.

    “As the country moves beyond a manufacturing economy, one of the areas we’re going to need to stay on top of the world is the creative economy: film, movies, music and technology. After all, isn’t the iPod a work of art?”
    Well, I don’t know about that, but I’ll give Arquette points for trying anyway.

    Also, as noted here...
    "For that billion dollars that is put into the funding of arts and culture around this country, $29 billion comes back into the Treasury. … There is no other issue, no other area of the budget, that has that kind of return on its investment," (actor and director Kevin) Spacey said. "Countries may go to war, but it's culture that unites us and teaches and makes us better as citizens."
    (I know Alec Baldwin also had something to say, but on balance, I think he’s a guy who gives Democrats a bad name.)

    Concluding, filmmaker Miles Mogulescu tells us the following here…
    When people attend a performance or go to a museum, they often spend additional money on restaurants, nearby shopping or parking. Artists are often the pioneers of urban revitalization. First artists move into lofts in a rundown neighborhood. Then cafes and galleries start to open. Soon middle class professionals are flocking to the area, first as consumers and then to rent and buy real estate, generating tax revenue which supports city and state governments and helps pay for things like schools and police.
    It’s all about ripples, people. And funding the arts is one of the ways to create them.

  • Continuing, some humanoid at The Daily Tucker tells us the following here…
    The left-leaning Center for American Progress published a blog post Thursday blaming Republicans for the tornadoes that devastated the South earlier this week.

    “The congressional delegations of these states – Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky – overwhelmingly voted to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous,” wrote CAP’s Brad Johnson. “They are deliberately ignoring the warning from scientists.”
    I don’t know what is more ridiculous – the fact that the genius complaining here apparently can’t tell the difference between the blog Think Progress and the Center for American Progress (though the contributors to each frequently overlap I believe) or the fact that there is no place wherever that Johnson states point blank that the Repugs are responsible for the tornadoes (I’ll let you, dear reader, check out the linked post from the DC to see what I’m talking about…an update is here).

    Is the overall denial of climate change in the region impacted by these disasters something to consider for the future? Perhaps, but that is a discussion for another day – in the meantime, to help out, click here.

  • Finally, I must admit that I really don’t have much of a rooting interest in the whole “Kate and ‘Wills’” show that began earlier today – very early, in this time zone – but the following from Irrational Spew Online caught my attention (the writer reflects on another wedding in Britain’s royal family)…
    We watched as Charles and Diana were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral. And we were struck by the beautiful wedding sermon preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Every couple is a king and a queen on their wedding day, said His Grace on that memorable occasion. And, he said, a marriage is strongest when it works for others.

    We loved that sermon. It has shaped our own marriage. We clipped it out of the Christian Science Monitor and taped it inside our kitchen cabinet. That yellowing copy of his Lordship’s sermon made it through two or three house moves with us. Thirty years later, undimmed by fading memories, it still motivates us. We felt like a king and queen on that day, too. No amount of tragedy for those star-struck royals diminished our gratitude for that gracious wedding message.

    Bill Bennett likes to quote Chekhov: “He and she is the engine that makes fiction work.” Thirty years after Charles and Diana’s wedding, he and she still has a powerful appeal. Some 2 million people lined the route of the wedding party through London’s ancient, narrow streets, and billions more watched on television.

    Of course, monarchy itself is endangered in a world they constantly tell us is flat. Her Majesty’s Government — those who actually rule Britain while the royals only reign — announced this month they are giving serious thought to changing the order of succession. Henceforth, the eldest child of a royal couple — he or she — might ascend the throne.

    They might also drop the 300-year ban on any Catholic becoming a king or queen of England. My late friend Joe Barrett was forever reminding anyone who would listen that the English monarchy was legally a bigoted institution, constitutionally anti-Catholic. I always reminded him of the luck of the Irish. They at least had an alibi when the London tabloids splashed stories of yet another royal scandal.
    As for Bennett, I wouldn’t trust him unless he were providing a quote about “riding a hard eight” based on this (and even that much would be problematic). And for anyone who thinks Catholicism gets a bad rap in the UK, I would suggest that they familiarize themselves with the story of Queen Mary Tudor (see page 2 here), who preceded Elizabeth I to the British throne (there was a reason why she was called “Bloody Mary,” people, and it wasn’t because of the drink…hat tip to Mrs. Doomsy, a true Anglophile, for that one).

    As I say, the whole “royal wedding” show really isn’t my thing, but I still wish the two of them well. The world needs all the love it can get.

  • Update 4/30/11: Concerning the royals and the "birther" B.S., Dan Rather is pretty much a lone voice calling out in the media wilderness, but he's absolutely right here.

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